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Sen. Tim Scott hears concerns on taxes, immigration from progressive South Carolina group

October 5, 2017 GMT

COLUMBIA — Leaders of a South Carolina progressive group met Wednesday with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott on Capitol Hill to voice their concerns with his conservative stances on taxes and immigration, as well as what they view as an insufficient number of town halls this year.

Julie Edwards and Kim Baker from the Midlands chapter of Indivisible, a grassroots organization of liberal activists across the country, chatted with the South Carolina Republican in a Senate hallway for about 10 minutes before sitting down with him again later in the day in his office for an additional conversation.

The pair also met with a health care staffer in Sen. Lindsey Graham’s office, Nick Myers, to push back on the Seneca Republican’s ongoing efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Myers told them Graham has no intention of standing down from his proposal, which would give state governments money through a block grant program to manage their own health insurance marketplaces. The measure died before reaching the Senate floor last month, but Graham has vowed to bring it up again next year.

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In the meeting with Scott, Edwards told the senator she was disappointed he would not support a clean bill to enact an Obama-era program for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children into law. Scott said he would only back legislation that also includes border security measures.

“The truth is that my goal is not to make everyone happy,” Scott said in a recording obtained by The Post and Courier. “It’s to be as honest and as fair as possible with my thoughts, as opposed to simply telling you the answer you want.”

Aides for Scott and Graham said both senators always welcome constituent feedback, “whether they agree or disagree.”

Indivisible groups around South Carolina have protested Graham and Scott throughout 2017. This week, some members protested the GOP tax plan outside Scott’s North Charleston office. But it has been rare for the activists to get an opportunity to meet with either senator in person.

“This is their job as representatives,” Edwards said. “So while I’m appreciative that I got face time with Sen. Scott for certain, not everyone can make that drive up to D.C. and get in to see him. That’s why open forum public meetings are so crucial.”